The New York Times Editorial Board addressed “Saving Water in California” during this severe drought — and going forward. The editorial goes directly to the report The Untapped Potential of California’s Water Supply: Efficiency, Reuse, and Stormwater, released in June from the Pacific Institute and NRDC:
“A recent report by the Pacific Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that agricultural water use could be reduced by up to 22 percent if farmers more carefully scheduled the watering of crops based on weather and soil conditions and if they used the drip irrigation systems that deliver water directly to the roots of plants. Some progress has been made. About 38 percent of California farmland was irrigated by more efficient systems in 2010, up from 15 percent in 1991. But far too many farmers still irrigate by flooding their fields.
In terms of urban conservation, the report shows that homes and businesses could reduce water use by up to 60 percent by using it more efficiently, recycling and reusing water and capturing more rainwater. Some efficiency improvements are simple and could be done quickly, like installing water meters at all homes and businesses. Currently, about 250,000 water-utility customers, most of them in the Central Valley, have no meters and are charged a flat monthly fee regardless of how much water they use — a practice that invites waste.”
Read the full New York Times editorial here.
Read the drought research here.